Friday, November 9, 2012

Picture this.

It has now been, give or take, 48 hours since I was asked by someone for lewd pictures of myself, for the first time ever.

(I made my stance on lewd material once here. You may call me a prude, but I choose to say I just have too much self-respect and common sense to know when something isn't a good idea.)

The guy was a relatively new acquaintance, someone I'd just recently been getting to know these past few weeks. I can't say for sure if it was a fully platonic kinship, as there was mild flirting involved during our regular chats. However, should he even dip a toe into the conversational territory of anything overtly sexual, I always changed the topic, and told him sex was off limits.

Until it happened, I never knew how truly sheltered my life was. I went through a myriad of emotions in trying to make sense of the matter, and even till now I have yet to decide if I should kick him out of my life and move on, or demand an apology. And yes, I am aware of how pathetic this sounds, because why would I want such a person in my life anyway?

It honestly shouldn't even be a complicated matter. But bear with me now, as I try as best as possible to detail my emotional journey throughout this unpleasant episode.

It started at Shock, then Anger and Self-Righteousness.

Obviously, I was surprised when he brought the question up, completely out of the blue. We had been chatting about mundane things like cartoons and the results of the US presidential election earlier, and there had been no prior talk about anything remotely risqué.

Once it sunk in that one, I wasn't dreaming; two, he wasn't kidding; and three, that he actually possessed the bare-faced cheek to brazenly ask for such a thing, I practically exploded in rage. I cursed him with every swear word I knew (not out loud though), and felt so pissed off I just wanted to tear him apart from limb to limb. I wanted to scream at him until I lost my voice, and watch him squirm in shame and discomfort.

I hate to admit it, but I had a mini infatuation with this guy at the time. To know that I had allowed myself to even have the remotest feelings for a dirty, slimy pervert made me feel like a complete idiot. I used to think I had a good "jerk" radar, but I suppose it has grown extremely rusty. Needless to say, those feelings have evaporated, and will never ever return.

I felt horribly self-maligned. I used to think such things would only happen to girls that regularly flaunted their assets in clingy, skimpy outfits and spoke suggestively in every sentence; while instead I practically live in tees and shorts, and I have been told many times that my style of speech can be mean and intimidating to the uninitiated. It felt so cruelly unfair that anyone would even think I would comply with such a request.

Eventually though, I decided to give him the benefit of doubt.

I decided that if I was in any way important to him, he would apologise and vow to never repeat the same mistake ever again. I wasn't even sure if and how we could ever go back to being friends after he apologised, but I just wanted to know that he actually did care for me.

But of course, an apology hasn't happened. In fact, since I didn't respond to his request, he hasn't made any attempt at all to contact me, even though we used to chat pretty regularly.

The emotional train stops at Nonchalance.

The very next day after the request, I woke up to a phone with no apology message. I had been so desperate to believe that he cared about me, that I actually dreamt that he had sent one over. Pathetic, I know.

I decided to put everything behind me, because I didn't want to relive the unpleasant emotions of the previous night. And because I was having a full day of lecture classes, I managed pretty well to distract myself from thinking about this whole thing, and felt completely nothing over what had happened.

Or at least I did, until sometime past midday.

Oh hi there, Pain, where were you?

As much effort as it took to numb myself to the anger I felt, nothing could soothe the hurt and betrayal that made a late appearance in the day. He wasn't just someone I recently developed feelings for, but before that we were actually friends.

We got along well together, and the few times we actually hung out, I found myself having a lot of fun. (Hence, the feelings begun.) But more than that, he had actually told me once that he cared about me. We could chat about pretty much anything, and we were laidback and comfortable with each other.

When I realised I had feelings for him, I actually thought of smothering them, because I thought then that it would suck to lose him as a friend if anything bad happened. He was far from being one of my closest friends, but he made me laugh and I enjoyed nitpicking at him and watching him attempt put-downs.

In short, this was a guy that I thought had found a good place in my life. And in one second, he completely betrayed my trust and showed me how little he actually respected me.

He thought I was someone who wouldn't mind showing a little thing or two to him, which shows how little he thinks of me. Literally, I have never felt so worthless in my life. I feel like that innocent girl in the American teenage movie that has all her darkest secrets revealed to every student in school, by her best friend that took her trust and ripped it to shreds.

Is this how he treats all of his friends? I highly doubt so, which means that he never thought of me as a friend in the first place. And again, this bloody hurts like a bitch.

I don't trust many people fully, so hardly anyone knows of my darkest secrets, but that's not the point because he's not one of those people. Nonetheless, he was one of the people I was willingly allowing regular interaction with, and I trust these people to always have my best interests at heart.

Call me a naïve little cotton-picker if you must, but trust is one of the dearest things to me. The hurt that I felt when I realised he had betrayed my trust, was the feeling that lasted the longest. I'm still feeling hurt about this now, and likely will for the next few days too.

We now arrive at Bitter Acceptance, oh no wait Blind Denial, oh no wait...

This brings us back to the present, of how I've been feeling today as I'm sitting here typing this, and trying to make sense of the whole emotional rollercoaster.

It's become blindingly obvious that he doesn't give a crap about me, and that everything he has said and done prior to this occurred with an agenda in mind. Since the attempt was fruitless, he now tosses the useless rag to the side, and moves on to the next target. I should just try to learn from this experience, and just move on with my life.

But then again, at some points when I remember a previous happy moment shared with him, I can't help but wonder if this is just a huge misunderstanding. I mean, someone that was so sweet to me before couldn't just suddenly morph into a lecherous monster within the next second, right?

I sometimes forget that the fact remains that he asked me for lewd pictures, and any self-respecting individual would know better to keep her distance from now on. But there is still a small, insistent part of me that hopes things will somehow revert back to normal.

What the hell is wrong with me? Have I gone mad with wishful thinking? Someone intends to use me for titillation purposes, and all I do is hope for an apology, instead of wiping every trace of him from my past?

But I suppose that's just part of who I am: someone that needs closure. I've never been good at leaving things as they lie without picking them up and making sure they're lying correctly. (And I suppose either meaning of "lie" could be utilised here.)

I just need to keep reminding myself that he's a misogynist a-hole, and I deserve to keep much better company. I sincerely hope I don't crumble from pretending to be strong about this, especially if I ever run into him again.

It just stinks that I'm so torn up, and he's not in the least affected at all.

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